Up the Ideology

My sequel to the TCT book is the (long) forthcoming attempt to explain why corporate capitalism is doomed by one of its core products, the private automobile.

As this doom approaches, the level of ideology in car advertising on U.S. television grows apace. It is already well into its whistling-past-the-graveyard stage, in fact.

Watch a football game or an evening of godawful sitcoms, and you’ll see claims such as Ford’s jive — couched in the mega-annoying “Introducing the _____” trend in which advertisers of everything from cars to candy bars have recently been trying to hype their wares — about how its latest sedan is “entirely new.” Yeah, sure, the worst of the nineteenth-century transportation inventions is somehow now not so stupid. Why? Because its patent idiocy is starting to breathe on some necks, so must be repositioned, to stave off proper perception for a few more months or years.

Then there is this one from the supposedly cutting-edge Honda corporation.

Things can always be better? Um, no.

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Martin
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Martin

The people involved in these cinematic extravaganzas have to know that the product is lethal, in the same way that tobacco manufacturers came to understand that they could feel pride in killing people’s mothers, fathers, partners, children. The ancillary people are also up against the dead heart – the musicians that powered the electronica revolution, giving the world its best beats, samples, mood altering tunes, now supply their wares lto this despotic design of car ads. The house band for the apocalypse, Skeewiff, is happy to feature its big beats for some corporate fossil fueler – so is Jeff Bridges,… Read more »

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

So, when is the book coming out? Dates please, so we can hold you accountable ;P ๐Ÿ™‚ Martin, I’m not sure they are aware. You will be astounded by the power of ideology at the individual/personal level – in fact, the more educated the person, the better their ability to resist facts. My father in law has spent his life in business, first as a CEO, then as a small business douche. He has demonstrated more than sufficient capability to undestand counter-intuitive scientific concepts from physics, biology, etc. And yet, when it comes down to things like climate change, resource… Read more »

Martin
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Martin

Yup, you about encapsulated it, and by that, I mean it all.
The edge.org yearly round-up is also fascinating – all these big thinkers, all these small ideas, many delivered with numbskull-level copy-editing mistakes – “loose” for “lose,” bad “it’s” all over – Still, I think the slow and protracted collapse is more the speed we’ll see.

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

RE: “to stave off proper perception for a few more months or years.” I really wonder what is the rationale – be it implicit or explicit – to try to do so. The more we are in denial, the more sever and discontinuous the necessary transitions will be. If that is the case, I would think the first thing that would be challenged is precisely the issue of distribution of wealth and economic power. If that is the case, then why waste time trying to accumulate more playing by the old rules? If the rules are likely to change, what’s… Read more »

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Hard to swallow, but probably true. I am actually slowly beginning to doubt the notion that resource depletion and environmental problems can weaken the system – they may in fact end up strengthening it by providing good cover story/excuses as to why 1) we should all learn to accept less, 2) work harder, and 3) go to war.

Nevermind that the technological and the organizational means exist right now to make the world a decent place for every single human in our lifetimes…

Martin
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Martin

TCT should do a MOOC, and as part of that, have a multimedia section. One recent candidate for the proposed TCT syllabus: “Detropia,” a bizarre lib-doc but right in line with this Honda ad, the curious case of art hipsters gentrifying US economic war zones, and on-line backlashes to “radical” popular art.
In “Detropia,” economic collapse becomes a great place for post-collegiate art marketeers to find home and purpose, while community survivors expose thier bewilderment like seagulls caked with supertanker oil.
The supersystem is what is left standing.

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

I would especially love to see a basic political economy course – the nature of labor, the economic surplus, the social relations in capotalist and non-capitalist societies, the role of the state etc. The basic facts are so simple, that, as J. K. Gallbraith would say (as he did in the context of money), they “repel the mind”. Although it took me forever to grasp them, I am increasingly convinced that they are indeed, simple – just ‘unspeakable’ in most polite educational or publishing contexts. But then again, maybe I’m wrong – it took the classical political economists lifetimes to… Read more »